The U.S. dollar index climbed for a fifth straight day on Friday, taking aim for a more than 1% gain on the week, as the British pound was rattled by caustic comments from President Donald Trump during his U.K. trip.
Sterling GBPUSD, -0.1969% slipped to $1.3175 from $1.3206 late Thursday in New York, falling to its lowest dollar level since the beginning of the month, as the uncertainty over the U.K.’s economic future is weighing on its currency.
The slide in the pound helped propel the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.18% higher, with the index up 0.2% at 95.016, its best level since early July according to FactSet data. For the week, the dollar gauge was set for a 1.1% gain, its biggest since the week ending June 15.
Sterling’s weakness came after Trump, speaking in an interview with the Sun newspaper, slammed U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for a “soft” Brexit, saying it would “kill” any potential U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
The interview was published before the Trump-May news conference in which a bilateral trade deal was mentioned as a possibility.
See: Trump Today: President says a U.S.-U.K. trade deal is possible
Crowds were gathering in London on Friday morning to hold protests, including a march and rally, against the president’s visit to the U.K.
“The U.K. can’t afford to alienate either the U.S. or the EU, its two largest foreign trade partners, and will not be able to choose an ‘either-or’ solution,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index
“Trump’s comments come at a particularly bad time for May, who is facing bigger problems as her government is in a precarious balance after the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson earlier this week,” Cincotta said in a note.
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Along with the pound, the New Zealand dollar USDNZD, +0.4594% is sharing the limelight as the weakest G-10 currency. The kiwi dollar fell following weakening manufacturing data late Thursday.
The New Zealand currency last bought $0.6740, down from $0.6779 late Thursday in New York, at its lowest since the beginning of the month.